Why Even Try Routines When Life Gets in the Way?
Updated: May 19, 2021
Yes, I get it. I’m not living in denial that the best laid plans don’t work out as we hope. I’m aware that everything that can go wrong probably will go wrong. But I still think crafting routine is worth it. Here’s why.
Being a full-time mom of a newborn baby is the true test of everything I preach about wellness. And I’m pleased to say that so far, my core beliefs about what make a good day — and a good life — are not shaken.
Even though my sweet Honeybee disrupts my plans frequently I believe that giving up on routines would be a disservice to myself and to my baby. And though I’m sure I am naive about some things, I believe that in time Bee will come on board with some of my routines. And if she doesn’t, I will adjust the routines to best serve my family. You’ve got to know when to pivot, but that doesn’t mean giving up all efforts to organize your life.
Routines teach us what to expect which gives us a healthy sense of control. Rather than feeling like I have no say in what happens to me I feel like I’m making progress towards being who I want to be and living the way I want to live.
If Bee wakes up during my morning routine and I don’t get to finish what I set out to do, at least I started! I probably got to meditate and read by myself before she joined me and then she can literally join me without putting a full stop to the activities. I can read aloud to her. I can nurse her while I think about what I’m studying. I can enjoy my morning tea while chatting with my baby. Or I can even wake Tim up and ask him to keep her until I finish what I’m doing.
Routines eventually create the life we want to live. I think of each set of activities as a building block for the day, and eventually the life that I am crafting. If I want to be a person who reads 100 books a year, I will not become that person by simply desiring to be so. If I build that goal into a routine that I pursue regularly, even if I "fail" in the first year I might succeed at reading 25 books that year which is way more than zero which is what could happen without a well-crafted reading routine.
Remember: Intentions are great. Plans are better.
But acceptance is key. Reality hits hard and I acknowledge that there will be discouragement as we aim for our routines. Since I know that the cause of my stress is wanting things to be different than they are, I seek to accept what happens in the moment even as I work towards something different for the next time.
Here are four things I try to accept when approaching my personal routines:
Its not going to be perfect. And that's okay! Progress is a very good and real thing. A perfect life is an illusion.
Orderly progress is better than chaos. I could just throw my hands up and let life happen to me. But I very much prefer to do life on purpose, as well as I can.
I‘m sowing seeds. The harvest will come in time. Seasons change and this too shall pass eventually. Cultivating routines will produce a more bountiful harvest than sowing disorder.
I do this for my good and for the good of everyone I love. Well-crafted routines equip me to be my best and truest self so I can show up for my family and my community.
So this is why I craft routines even as a mother of a 3-month-old baby, during a pandemic, during a global economic crisis, amid all the chaos of the world. Want to join me?
May 22, 2021 | Crafting Rhythms & Routines
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